Master Yun awarded a third degree black belt in Hapkido to James Thompson during a belt ceremony on June 9.
James is the first student at Be Ryong to receive a third degree black belt. This is quite the accomplishment. James has been a student at Be Ryong for over ten years. For his belt test, James had to execute all the techniques, kicks and jumps from the first and second degree curricula, over a thousand push-ups and sit-ups, fight against (yusul) against four black belts, and break 2 concrete blocks with his bare hand. To say the test was grueling is an understatement.
In addition to being a student at Be Ryong, James is a HapKiDo instructor at Be Ryong. He is also a second degree black belt in Taekwondo.
Congratulations to James, Jess and Chris! James passed his third degree HapKiDo black belt test, while Jess and Chris passed their 2nd degree HapKiDo black belt tests.
It was a grueling 3 1/2 hour test last Saturday. The candidates performed all the techniques for 1st and second degree, while James had to perform 3rd degree techniques as well. They did zillions of push-ups and sit-ups, broke boards and fought against other black belts during yusul.
The highlight of the test was the power breaking, or the breaking of cement slabs with hand strikes. James successfully broke 3 cement slabs, while Jess and Chris broke two. Amazing!
James is the ONLY student to ever take and pass a third degree test at BeRyong; James is also a 2nd dan in TaeKwonDo. Jess is also a 2nd dan in TaeKwonDo, while Chris is a first dan in TaeKwonDo. Congratulations!
It’s a really big deal when someone takes their 2nd degree black belt test. At Be Ryong, it takes an average of 3 years to get your first degree black belt, and then an additional 5-7 years to get your second degree.
Why so long? The curriculum is much harder: all the kicks are jumping kicks, the forms are long and complicated, and the conditioning needed to take a 2nd degree black belt test is off the charts.
But 12-year old Mac is taking his 2nd degree black belt test on Saturday, December 2, 11am. This test will run at least three hours, most likely longer. So come on down, cheer Mac on, keep him motivated during the 1,000+ push-ups and sit-ups he’ll have to do, and cheer him on during the intense sparring he’ll have to endure. And as always, bring snacks because it’s going to be a long test.
There will be a TaeKwonDo black belt test on Saturday, November 18. Four students will be taking the test. The test will begin promptly at 11am and will likely go for 3-4 hours.
If you or your child is a red belt or higher, Master Yun recommends attending a black belt test so you know what happens during a black belt test. You should also read this blog post by CJ – What happens during a black belt test?
Students who are cleared by Master Yun to take the test will have shown proficiency in all of the kicks and forms needed for the 1st degree black belt test. During the test itself, students will perform the kicks and forms for each belt, do a total of 770 push ups and sit ups over several hours, 350 squats, 9 breaks with a kick, 3 rounds of sparring, and 1 hand break. Sounds brutal, it’s meant to be grueling. And that’s why you train for a minimum of four months for a black belt test, after years of training and mini-tests.
A black belt from Be Ryong is a true test of endurance, perseverance and skill. Come on down and support the candidates. Oh, and bring snacks. It’s gonna be a long test.